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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 11

Verse 11. For if that which is done away, etc. The splendour that attended the giving of the law; the bright shining of the face of Moses; and the ritual institutions of his religion. It was to be done away. It was never designed to be permanent. Everything in it had a transient existence, and was so designed. Yet it was attended, Paul admits, with much that was magnificent and splendid, He had, in the previous verses, stated several important differences between the law and the gospel, he here states another. The law he calls (to katargoumenon) the thing which was to be made to cease; to be put an end to; to be done away with; to be abolished. It had no permanency; and it was designed to have none. Its glory, therefore, great as in many respects it might be, could not be compared with that which was to be permanent— as the light of the stars fades away at the rising sun. It is implied here, that it was originally designed that the Mosaic institutions should not be permanent; that they should be mere shadows and types of better things; and that when the things which they adumbrated should appear, the shadows would vanish of course. This idea is one which prevails everywhere in the New Testament, and which the sacred writers are often at great pains to demonstrate.

Was glorious. Greek, By glory. dia doxhv. That is, it was attended by glory; it was introduced by glory, it was encompassed with glory when it was established. The idea here is, not that it was glorious in itself, but that it was accompanied with splendour and majesty.

That which remaineth. The gospel, (to menon.) The thing that is to remain; that is permanent, abiding, perpetual; that has no principle of decay; and whose characteristic it is, that it is everlasting. The gospel is permanent, or abiding,

(1.) because it is designed to remain immutable through the remotest ages. It is not to be superseded by any new economy or institution. It is the dispensation under which the affairs of the world are to be wound up, and under which the world is to close. See Barnes "1 Co 15:51".

 

(2.) Its effects on the heart are permanent. It is complete in itself. It is not to be succeeded by any other system, and it looks to no other system in order to complete or perfect its operations on the soul.

(3.) Its effects are to abide for ever. They will exist in heaven. They are to be seen in the soul that shall be recovered from sin, and that shall be glorious in the bosom of God for ever and ever. The Mosaic system—glorious as it was—shall be remembered as introducing the gospel; the gospel shall be remembered as directly fitting for heaven. Its most great and glorious results shall be seen in the permanent and eternal joys of heaven. The gospel contemplates a great, permanent, and eternal good, adapted to all ages, all climes, all people, and all worlds. It is, therefore, so much more glorious than the limited, temporary, and partial good of the Mosaic system, that that may be said in comparison to have had no glory.

{b} "if that" Ro 5:20,21

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